Ben Affleck and Sacha Baron Cohen did not hold back when chatting together during their Variety‘s Actors on Actors episode. During their conversation, the actors joked with one another about on-screen nudity.
“So obviously, you’re a two-time Academy Award winner, a multiple Golden Globe winner, you were nominated for best depiction of nudity, sexuality or seduction by the Alliance of Women Film Journalists in Gone Girl. What did that mean to you?” Cohen asked.
“Wow. Everyone dreams of that,” replied Affleck, with Cohen then following up and saying, “Were you furious when you didn’t win?”
Affleck then replies, “Were you angry?…I mean you do so much frontal, you’ve been so naked, and yet you were overlooked,” to Cohen.
“Yeah, the Alliance of Women Film Journalists never saw what I saw in the mirror,” the Borat star said.
Affleck then replied took it to a NSFW level, telling Cohen, “I noticed in the past, when you blacked out your penis, it was 14 inches. Now, how close to the truth was that really?”
Cohen then quickly changed the subject, quipping, “I feel like we’re veering away. Tell me about your Batman!”
In the 30-plus minute conversation, Cohen also talked about the hardest and most intense moments of filming Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, and how nervous he was to work with Aaron Sorkin in The Trial of the Chicago 7.
“I’d be lying if I wouldn’t say I wasn’t nervous to work with Aaron because he’s the greatest living screenwriter. He’s the Shakespeare of our time,” Cohen admitted. “Although you have won an Academy Award for writing.”
“I’d heard his reputation, and I did wonder, ‘Why are you casting me, well-known improviser, to deliver special lines?’ And I spent probably about two months pitching him alternative lines, because I read everything that Abbie Hoffman had written,” he continued. “Aaron was nice enough to humor me. Each time he’d say, ‘Thank you, but no.'”
As for Affleck, he also touched on how directing has improved his acting, saying that it has changed his approach.
“Particularly from before and after I started directing, because it was really instructive,” Affleck explained. “I learned more about acting from directing than I did from acting classes. There’s something really valuable about being on the other side, and seeing what works and what doesn’t. And what you can do editorially, and just getting used to the sound of your own f**king stupid voice… I feel like my own acting, at least by my own standards, has gotten better as I’ve gotten older, and had more life experiences and had more stuff to access.
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